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(Proverbs 19:27 – ESV)
If we’re not in the Word of God, then we’re not in the will of God, so we won’t have the wisdom of God, therefore we will be taken captive by the wooing of the world, the wants of the flesh, and the wiles of the devil.
We are all in a spiritual battle. There is no reason for you to believe that you will be successful in Spiritual warfare without having your sword sharpened and your armor on (Ephesians 6:10-18). If we are in an intimate, present reality, dynamic relationship with Christ, we will be invincible, in a sense. But when we look away from Jesus we, like Peter, begin to see the storms of life, and sink under our own weight of unbelief.
God wants communion with us; if we become lax in our prayer life, Bible study, and our corporate worship, fellowship, and stewardship, we will suffer. No matter how long we have been a Christian or how many verses we have memorized, our flow will be hampered. It is our constant communion with God that gives the Word its power in our personal lives. It is the Spirit that gives life. To stop the flow of communication means that using the Bible can become an exercise in our own strength, a one-way street where you just go to the Word when you feel like you need it. You can’t bottle the blessings of God (Exodus 16:15-21); that is why we are to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).
The wisdom from God is predicated upon a present tense relationship with Him. No amount of “build up” or maturity can take this fact away. Want proof? How about Solomon: Once he strayed from God, he sank into apostasy. If it can happen to the wisest man who ever lived, then surely it can happen to us. Consider also Samson and Saul; if your character doesn’t grow in proportion to your anointing, it will crush you.
Modern day examples abound. Consider the great preachers who had anointing by the barrelful yet fell all the way down the mountain because they trusted in the past without tending to the present, treating God as a means to an end, rather than their relationship with Him being the purpose itself. He is not a cosmic concierge, waiting at our beck and call.
Looking to our own lives, and the corporate life of the local churches, we cannot simply rest on our laurels. Leaders are to set the example, to live by a higher standard so that those who follow have something to look forward to. When called to lead we must do exactly that: lead, not lounge. We must move forward, not sit idle. We must continue to learn if we are to continue to lead, else we will learn, the hard way.